For this list, we’ll be looking at anime characters that are inspired by classic heroes, whether in the conventional sense or in a reinterpretation of the trope. Also be on the lookout for a few spoilers down the line.

  1. You haven’t seen a hero like this before, because no other hero has the power to quite literally take out every villain he comes across with a single punch. While his attitude is rather blasé - due to the fact he knows he’ll win every fight - Saitama none the less strives to live up to the ideals of a hero. Good thing too, because without him the Earth would be beyond screwed. From various monstrous creatures, to gigantic meteors to an intergalactic, near-invulnerable conqueror, the people of the world have no idea how lucky they are to have the One Punch Man on their side.

  2. A homage to the silver age of comic book superheroes, All Might is known as the world’s greatest hero, the symbol of peace and the main source of inspiration to series protagonist Izuku Midoriya. Yeah, he may be incredibly over the top, excessively cheesy and the furthest thing from dark and gritty, but with his absolute conviction in the goodness in people, along with the staggering power of his Quirk, One for All, All Might is truly a hero that is worthy of being looked up to.

  3. Taking the superhero premise and twisting it in a rather spectacularly clever fashion, Wild Tiger and Bunny aren’t just superheroes trying to keep the peace, they are living advertisements. In a future where all superheroes now have brands imprinted on their suits and save the day for ratings, this new dynamic duo must protect the innocent. Wild Tiger holds more traditional ideals for dispensing justice, while Bunny is a man of the times with a legion of fangirls. They may often butt heads, but together they make for one hell of a team.

  4. Charged with defending their city from classic threats such as an alien invaders and a sinister organization, the team spring into action whenever evil strikes, using the mysterious energy known as NOTE to grant themselves some pretty slick cybernetic suits. You can make all the connections to hero shows like Power Rangers that you like, but due to the infectiously of energetic protagonist Hajime as well as some striking visuals, you’ll be rooting for these guys all the same!

  5. While studying as a high school student, Gohan takes on the mantle of a flamboyant, over the top hero who uses his powers of flight and super strength to protect the city from various threats. While we can’t say it was Gohan’s best look and we were happy to see him return to his Super Saiyan roots during the battle against MajinBuu, it did lead to him earning the attention of his future lover Videl, so we guess that’s something?

  6. Following Usopp’s heart-breaking departure from the Straw Hat Pirates, it was a dangerous possibility that everyone’s favourite teller of tales wouldn’t make a return…until this person showed up. Fooling nobody, save for Luffy and Chopper, the masked marksman known as Sniper King joins his companions during the invasion of Enies Lobby to save the life of fellow crewmate Robin. Granted this persona doesn’t last long and his cowardice still shines through, we got to admit it did give the long-nosed pirate some pretty super-heroic moments.

  7. We had a lot of contenders from this series considering that all the monster cards in Jaden Yuki’s deck are superheroes, but by far the most iconic is Neos. Not only is he a powerful monster in his own right, capable of countless fusions with Jaden’s creatures, but he also takes the form of a Duel Spirit, popping out on occasion to provide a good old, cryptic pep talk when Jaden is up against the ropes. Certainly makes for a better companion than Winged Kuriboh.

  8. Who is this mysterious figure with the ridiculously long name, you ask? Well, he’s the number one Medafighter in all of Japan, who is also secretly the infamous thief known as the Phantom Renegade, who in actuality is ALSO that friendly guy who works down at the convenience store. Got it? Good. When in this gold-masked persona, this Medafighter controls his powerful companion Arcbeetle. And since most of the time he’s directing all that firepower in the direction of the infamous Rubber-robo Gang, we say that qualifies him as a superhero.

  9. Created to be the perfect human being, Jin eventually escaped and after some time living as your average, rugged homeless dude, he found himself taking on the corporation that made him, transforming into the mutant being known as Zet. With his newfound, deadly powers, he can take on all kinds of monsters-of-the-week and live up to the title of hero. He may sit comfortably within the brooding, loner archetype, but we can’t deny its damn entertaining to see him fight.

  10. Despite his high-profile job as the star of a fashion magazine, Masayoshi Hazama has always dreamed of becoming a costumed hero and fighting crime. Inspired by his grandfather, he decides to throw caution to the wind, don a mask and take to the streets as Samurai Flamenco. Granted he’s not exactly good at it at first, but he doesn’t let a few street gangs, terrifying monsters and an overly aggressive police officer stop him from spreading ideals of justice.

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